Solms’ unusual project of translating Freud’s “Project for a Scientific Psychology” into contemporary cognitive science terms is hard to assess. The most important theme, to my way of thinking, is Solms’ support, in present-day terms, of Freud’s insistence that emotion lies at the heart of all cognition. Taking this one idea seriously will require significant alterations to the working assumptions of many in cognitive science.
Scientists obtain a great deal of the evidence they use by collecting
and producing empirical results. Much of the standard philosophical
literature on this subject comes from 20th century logical
empiricists, their followers, and critics who embraced their issues
while objecting to some of their aims and assumptions. Discussions
about empirical evidence have tended to focus on epistemological
questions regarding its role in theory testing. This entry follows
that precedent, even though empirical evidence also plays important
and philosophically interesting roles in other areas including
scientific discovery, the development of experimental tools and
techniques, and the application of scientific theories to practical
There has been a lot of time and effort spent debating whether human beings have free will, and rightly so, it is an important and interesting question. However there has been very little discussion (at least until now) concerning whether God would have free will. I should note that I am talking about the Western conception of God, and more specifically the view that comes from the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, mixed with Neoplatonism and Aristotelianism, which is sometimes referred to as Classical Theism.
Frege famously claimed that variations in the sense of a proper name can sometimes be ‘tolerated’. In this paper, we offer a novel explanation of this puzzling claim. Frege, we argue, follows Trendelenburg in holding that we think in language— sometimes individually and sometimes together. Variations in sense can be tolerated in just those cases where we are using language to coordinate our actions, but we are not engaged in thinking together about an issue.
Is it permissible to be a fan of an artist or a sports team that has behaved immorally? While this issue has recently been the subject of widespread public debate, it has received little attention in the philosophical literature. This paper will investigate this issue by examining the nature and ethics of fandom. I will argue that the crimes and misdemeanors of the object of fandom provide three kinds of moral reasons for fans to abandon their fandom. First, being a fan of the immoral may provide support for their immoral behavior. Second, fandom alters our perception in ways that will often lead us to be fail to perceive our idol’s faults and even to adopting immoral points of view in order to be able to maintain the positive view we have of them. Third, fandom, like friendship, may lead us to engage in acts of loyalty to protect the interests of our idols. This gives fans of the immoral good reason to abandon their fandom. However, these reasons will not always be conclusive and, in some cases, it may be possible to instead adopt a critical form of fandom.
Kant’s engagement with Newton’s notion of ‘absolute space’ is fascinating, complex and spans over both the pre-Critical and the Critical period. The received view has it that in the pre-Critical period Kant shifted from an originally Leibnizian view of space (still visible in Physical Monadology, 1756/1992, and New Doctrine of Motion and Rest, 1758/2012) to a proper Newtonian view of absolute space via the incongruent counterparts argument in Directions in Space (1768/1992), for then abandoning absolute space in the Inaugural Dissertation (1770/1992). Indeed, the same argument from incongruent counterparts was later employed in the Prolegomena (1783) as an argument for space as “the form of outer intuition of […] sensibility” (Prol, 4:286).
Smartphone use plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives. Philosophical research that has used first-wave or second-wave theories of extended cognition in order to understand our engagement with digital technologies has focused on the contribution of these technologies to the completion of specific cognitive tasks (e.g., remembering, reasoning, problem-solving, navigation). However, in a considerable number of cases, everyday smartphone use is either task-unrelated or task-free. In psychological research, these cases have been captured by notions such as absent-minded smartphone use (Marty- Dugas et al., 2018) or smartphone-related inattentiveness (Liebherr et al., 2020). Given the prevalence of these cases, we develop a conceptual framework that can accommodate the functional and phenomenological characteristics of task-unrelated or task-free smartphone use. To this end, we will integrate research on second-wave extended cognition with mind-wandering research and introduce the concept of ‘extended mind-wandering’. Elaborating the family resemblances approach to mind-wandering (Seli, Kane, Smallwood, et al., 2018), we will argue that task-unrelated or task-free smartphone use shares many characteristics with mind-wandering. We will suggest that an empirically informed conceptual analysis of cases of extended mind-wandering can enrich current work on digitally extended cognition by specifying the influence of the attention economy on our cognitive dynamics.
Molinists hold that there are contingently true counterfactuals about what agents would do if put in specific circumstances, that God knows these prior to creation, and that God uses this knowledge in choosing how to create. In this essay we critique Molinism, arguing that if these theses were true, agents would not be free. Consider Eve’s sinning upon being tempted by a serpent. We argue that if Molinism is true, then there is some set of facts that fully explains both Eve’s action and everything else Eve does that influences that action; and that if this is the case, Eve does not act freely. The first premise of this argument follows from the explanatory relations the Molinist is committed to, and the second premise follows from libertarian intuitions about free will.
Until recently, discussion of virtues in the philosophy of mathematics has been fleeting and fragmentary at best. But in the last few years this has begun to change. As virtue theory has grown ever more influential, not just in ethics where virtues may seem most at home, but particularly in epistemology and the philosophy of science, some philosophers have sought to push virtues out into unexpected areas, including mathematics and its philosophy. But there are some mathematicians already there, ready to meet them, who have explicitly invoked virtues in discussing what is necessary for a mathematician to succeed.
As the range of potential uses for Artificial Intelligence (AI), in particular machine learning (ML), has increased, so has awareness of the associated ethical issues. This increased awareness has led to the realisation that existing legislation and regulation provides insufficient protection to individuals, groups, society, and the environment from AI harms. In response to this realisation, there has been a proliferation of principle-based ethics codes, guidelines and frameworks. However, it has become increasingly clear that a significant gap exists between the theory of AI ethics principles and the practical design of AI systems. In previous work , we analysed whether it is possible to close this gap between the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of AI ethics through the use of tools and methods designed to help AI developers, engineers, and designers translate principles into practice. We concluded that this method of closure is currently ineffective as almost all existing translational tools and methods are either too flexible (and thus vulnerable to ethics washing) or too strict (unresponsive to context). This raised the question: if, even with technical guidance, AI ethics is challenging to embed in the process of algorithmic design, is the entire pro-ethical design endeavour rendered futile? And, if no, then how can AI ethics be made useful for AI practitioners? This is the question we seek to address here by exploring why principles and technical translational tools are still needed even if they are limited, and how these limitations can be potentially overcome by providing theoretical grounding of a concept that has been termed ‘Ethics as a Service’
For many people, the phenomenon of divine hiddenness is so total that it is far from clear to them that God (roughly speaking, the God of Jewish and Christian tradition) exists at all. Reasonably enough, they therefore do not believe that God exists. Yet it is possible, whilst lacking belief in God’s reality, nonetheless to see it as a possibility that is both realistic and attractive; and in this situation, one will likely want to be open to the considerable benefits that would be available if God were real. In this paper I argue that certain kinds of desire for God can aid this non-believing openness. It is possible to desire God even in a state of non-belief, since desire does not require belief that its object exists. I argue that if we desire God in some particular capacity, and with some sense of what would constitute satisfaction, then through the desire we have knowledge – incomplete yet vivid in its personal significance – about the attributes God would need in order to satisfy us; thus, if God is real and does have those attributes, one knows something about God through desiring him. Because desire does not require belief, neither does the knowledge in question. Expanding on recent work by Vadas and Wynn, I sketch the epistemology of desire needed to support this argument. I then apply this epistemology to desire for God. An important question is how one might cultivate the requisite kinds desire for God; and one way, I argue, is through engaging with certain kinds of sacred music. I illustrate desire’s religiously epistemic power in this context, before replying to two objections.
Attributed to William Walwyn, leader of the Levellers in the England of 1647 The individual differences of which so much is made (…) will always survive, and they are to be welcomed, not regretted. But their existence is no reason for not seeking to establish the largest possible measure of equality of environment, and circumstance, and opportunity. On the contrary, it is a reason for redoubling our efforts to establish it, in order to ensure that these diversities of gifts may come to fruition.
1. Introduction. A genealogy would be an historical account of how someone, or some number of people, came to believe or to value the things that they do. What is genealogy for? The question may seem unfair: couldn’t genealogy be pursued for its own sake and without ulterior motive? Even if its pursuit serves wider ends, perhaps it serves them by instancing those ends rather than by providing an independently specifiable means to them. If, for example, there is value in knowing, then insofar as genealogical inquiry promises to furnish knowledge, its fruits might instance the wider value of our coming to know. Relatedly, insofar as the activities associated with inquiry are themselves valuable, independently of their resulting in knowing, then the activities associated with genealogical inquiry might instance those values, and that might be so independently of whether those activities also terminated in our acquiring genealogical knowledge. However, even if it were accepted that genealogy can have a value of its own, or can instance what is intrinsically valuable, that need not exclude that it also serves further ends. Let us therefore allow the question.
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The other night Dana and I watched “The Internet’s Own Boy,” the 2014 documentary about the life and work of Aaron Swartz, which I’d somehow missed when it came out. …
I've previously argued that sadistic pleasure (in oppressing the innocent) lacks value. But consider a complication. Suppose this time that the sadistic majority are all conscientious utilitarians who would never willingly increase net suffering in the world. …
Though not all scholars agree on the meaning of the term,
“neoliberalism” is now generally thought to label the
philosophical view that a society’s political and economic
institutions should be robustly liberal and capitalist, but
supplemented by a constitutionally limited democracy and a modest
welfare state. Recent work on neoliberalism, thus understood, shows
this to be a coherent and distinctive political philosophy. This entry
explicates neoliberalism by examining the political concepts,
principles, and policies shared by F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and
James Buchanan, all of whom play leading roles in the new historical
research on neoliberalism, and all of whom wrote in political
philosophy as well as political economy.
Exchange is fundamental to business. ‘Business’ can mean
an activity of exchange. One entity (e.g., a person, a firm)
“does business” with another when it exchanges a good or
service for valuable consideration, i.e., a benefit such as money. ‘Business’ can also mean an entity that offers goods and
services for exchange, i.e., that sells things. Target is a business. Business ethics can thus be understood as the study of the ethical
dimensions of the exchange of goods and services, and of the entities
that offer goods and services for exchange. This includes related
activities such as the production, distribution, marketing, sale, and
consumption of goods and services (cf.
Have we entered a “post-truth” era? The present paper attempts to answer this question by (a) offering an explication of the notion of “post-truth” from recent discussions; (b) deriving a testable implication from that explication, to the effect that we should expect to see decreasing information effects—i.e., differences between actual preferences and estimated, fully informed preferences—on central political issues over time; and then (c) putting the relevant narrative to the test by way of counterfactual modelling, using election year data for the period of 2004-2016 from the American National Election Studies’ (ANES) Times Series Study. The implication in question turns out to be consistent with the data: at least in a US context, we do see evidence of a decrease in information effects on key, political issues—immigration, same-sex adoption, and gun laws, in particular—in the period 2004 to 2016. This offers some novel, empirical evidence for the “post-truth” narrative.
On the basis of a wide range of historical examples various features of axioms are discussed in relation to their use in mathematical practice. A very general framework for this discussion is provided, and it is argued that axioms can play many roles in mathematics and that viewing them as self-evident truths does not do justice to the ways in which mathematicians employ axioms. Possible origins of axioms and criteria for choosing axioms are also examined. The distinctions introduced aim at clarifying discussions in philosophy of mathematics and contributing towards a more refined view of mathematical practice.
The design of good notation is a cause that was dear to Charles Babbage’s heart throughout his career. He was convinced of the “immense power of signs” (1864, 364), both to rigorously express complex ideas and to facilitate the discovery of new ones. As a young man, he promoted the Leibnizian notation for the calculus in England, and later he developed a Mechanical Notation for designing his computational engines. In addition, he reflected on the principles that underlie the design of good mathematical notations. In this paper, we discuss these reflections, which can be found somewhat scattered in Babbage’s writings, for the first time in a systematic way. Babbage’s desiderata for mathematical notations are presented as ten guidelines pertinent to notational design and its application to both individual symbols and complex expressions. To illustrate the applicability of these guidelines in non-mathematical domains, some aspects of his Mechanical Notation are also discussed.
One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon's youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realized then, with an amazement I have not been able to lessen since: ‘I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor.’ Sometimes I would mention this amazement, but since no one seemed to share it, nor even to understand it (life consists of these little touches of solitude), I forgot about it.
Mathematical pluralism can take one of three forms: (1) every consistent mathematical theory is about its own domain of individuals and relations; (2) every mathematical theory, consistent or inconsistent, is about its own (possibly uninteresting) domain of individuals and relations; and (3) many of the principal philosophies of mathematics is based upon some insight or truth about the nature of mathematics that can be preserved. (1) includes the multiverse approach to set theory. (2) helps us to understand the significance of the distinguished non-logical individual and relation terms of even inconsistent theories. (3) is a metaphilosophical form of mathematical pluralism and hasn’t been discussed in the literature. In what follows, I show how the analysis of theoretical mathematics in object theory exhibits all three forms of mathematical pluralism.
It is often suspected, of various works of fourteenth-century English literature, that they show the influence of philosophical voluntarism. This is an especially tempting thought to have with regard to Piers Plowman, both because of the poem’s explicit engagement with philosophy and theology, and because of the poem’s choice to make Will its central character. It is Will, in Nicolette Zeeman’s vivid phrase, who is the “single, holistic protagonist, the narrator and motive force of the whole text” (2006, 66). So although the extent of Langland’s familiarity with the philosophical ideas of his era is a matter of conjecture, it is hard to resist the thought that he is writing under the influence of the fourteenth-century voluntarist movement. An obstacle to such claims, however, is that no one has ever produced a clear and systematic account of what the voluntarist movement was. I hope to do that in detail elsewhere, but here I will attempt something more modest: to distinguish between a few claims that might be associated with voluntarism, and to consider some signs of their presence within Piers Plowman. A clear understanding of the philosophical character of voluntarism, and its implications for human nature, makes for a compelling case that we should understand the poem as the supreme medieval attempt to imbue an abstract philosophical thesis about the primacy of will with concrete meaning, set within the context of ordinary life.
Current discussions of hermeneutical injustice, I argue, poorly characterise the cognitive state of victims by failing to account for the communicative success that victims have when they describe their experience to other similarly situated persons. I argue that victims, especially when they suffer moral wrongs that are yet unnamed, are able (1) to grasp certain salient aspects of the wrong they experience and (2) to cultivate the ability to identify instances of the wrong in virtue of moral emotions. By moral emotions I mean emotions like indignation that reflect an agent’s ethical commitments and bear on her ethical assessments. Further, I argue that victims can impart their partial understanding of the wrong they suffer to others who are not similarly situated by eliciting moral emotions such as pity that are tied to broad notions of justice and fairness.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant economic hardships for millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, many of the world’s richest people have seen their wealth increase substantially during the pandemic, despite the significant economic disruptions that it has caused on the whole. It is uncontroversial that these effects, which have exacerbated already unacceptable levels of poverty and inequality, call for robust policy responses from governments. In this paper, I argue that the disparate economic effects of the pandemic also generate direct obligations of justice for those who have benefitted from pandemic windfalls. Specifically, I argue that even if we accept that those who benefit from distributive injustice in the ordinary, predictable course of life within unjust institutions do not have direct obligations to redirect their unjust benefits to those who are unjustly disadvantaged, there are powerful reasons to hold that benefitting from pandemic windfalls does ground such an obligation.
The predominant view in the contemporary philosophies of the life sciences is that the most fundamental and viable kinds of explanations are mechanistic. In fact, some philosophers of the life science have claimed that the only genuine explanations in the life sciences are mechanistic. We believe this to be an unnecessarily restrictive position, both descriptively and normatively. Descriptively, much actual scientific research in the life sciences is not readily cast as mechanistic. There are many natural phenomena that benefit from the application of multiple explanatory strategies, even at the same scale of investigation. Thus, normatively speaking, research in the life sciences ought to begin from a pluralistic position concerning explanatory style. We defend this claim by means of the application of both mechanistic and dynamical explanatory strategies to bird flocking.
An argument is presented that if a theory of quantum gravity is physically discrete at the Planck scale and the theory recovers General Relativity as an approximation, then, at the current stage of our knowledge, causal sets must arise within the theory, even if they are not its basis. We show in particular that an apparent alternative to causal sets, viz. a certain sort of discrete Lorentzian simplicial complex, cannot recover General Relativistic spacetimes in the appropriately unique way. For it cannot discriminate between Minkowski spacetime and a spacetime with a certain sort of gravitational wave burst.
Persons are not timeless: the changes worked by time do not halt at their retina, but they themselves are profoundly affected by them. The most noticeable of these changes, no doubt, are physical; others are mental. Here I will be concerned especially with moral changes: changes in moral attitudes and beliefs. Typically, a person not only changes morally, but also entertains conceptions, explicitly or intuitively, about what kind of moral change, if any, is morally best. Such conceptions may guide the direction of a person’s mOral change or his resistance to such changes. The question I wish to address here is that of the relation between such conceptions on the one hand, and theories on the nature of a person’s identity on the other. Are some of these conceptions supported by par— ticular theories on personal identity, and are particular theories on per— sonal identity incompatible with other such conceptions?
The philosophy of food is by now a relatively well-established area of research, with ramifications in branches such as ethics (Chignell et al. 2016; Thompson 2015; Sandler ; Barnhill et al. 2012), aesthetics (Todd 2010; Scruton ; Smith 2006; Korsmeyer 1999; Telfer 1996), philosophy of mind and epistemology (Barwich 2020), science and politics (Scrinis 2013), metaphysics and ontology (Borghini and Engisch 2021; Borghini and Piras 2020; Borghini 2015); it also convenes philosophers that identify themselves with different schools and methods (for some essays of such variety, see Kaplan 2012 as well as Curtin and Heldke 1992). Nonetheless, it is a widespread prejudice to think that issues pertaining to food and philosophy regard the food itself— e.g., what food we ought or ought not to eat under given circumstances, the aesthetic properties of food, the moral and cultural values linked to food, how to improve extant food systems, and so on.
In the search for a theory of quantum gravity, there are strong theoretical pressures that have pushed in the direction of theories in which space (or spacetime) is not present at the fundamental level. The task of recovering the appearances is especially pressing in such theories. This chapter looks at the cognitive processes that produce spatial experience to better understand the empirical constraints on such theories. There is no question that we have immediate awareness of the visible and tangible reality of space, but what that awareness amounts to, and whether it supports the requirement that space has to be recovered as concrete external structure, is not something that has received enough attention. This chapter fills that gap. If one asks what. . . is characteristic of the world of ideas of physics, one is first of all struck by the following: the concepts of physics relate to a real outside world, that is, ideas are established relating to things such as bodies, fields, etc., which claim ‘real existence’ that is independent of the perceiving subject-ideas which on the other hand, have been brought into as secure a relationship as possible with the sense-data. It is further characteristic of these physical objects that they are thought of as arranged in a spacetime continuum.